Chile-Garlic Sauce

This condiment can be used to jazz up any prepared food, or use it as a stand-in for fresh garlic or chile peppers (or both) when marinating proteins or creating curry. With heat, acid and umami, it packs a punch. Our favorite use is on grilled tofu lettuce wraps. We like the more vibrant color that red Thai bird's eye chiles give the sauce, but green chiles work just as well.

Chile-Garlic Sauce
Photo: Ryan Liebe
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 1 ½ ounces red Thai bird's eye chiles (about 3/4 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 10 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar


  1. Carefully, while wearing rubber gloves, remove and discard chile stems. Slice the chiles thinly. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chiles and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and salt; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  2. Meanwhile, combine water, lime juice, fish sauce and coconut sugar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the liquid has reduced and the aromatics are softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until well combined (use caution when blending hot ingredients). Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes (and up to 4 days), before serving. For longer storage, freeze for up to 6 months.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

24 Calories
2g Fat
2g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 24
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Added Sugars 1g 2%
Total Fat 2g 3%
Vitamin A 26IU 1%
Vitamin C 3mg 3%
Vitamin E 1mg 4%
Folate 2mcg 1%
Vitamin K 2mcg 2%
Sodium 208mg 9%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Magnesium 6mg 1%
Potassium 29mg 1%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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